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The Schumer border security farce


For almost three years, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) did nothing as President Joe Biden caught and released millions of illegal immigrants into the United States. Cities such as Denver, Chicago, and New York cried out for relief from the deluge, but Democrats denied that a crisis even existed let alone needed to be remedied.

Then, this February, after Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) struck a deal with the White House, border security suddenly became a “pressing” issue for Democrats that had to be addressed by over 275 pages of legislative text that had to be voted on immediately.

The Senate wisely rejected the legislation, with fewer than 50 senators voting for it. Companion legislation providing aid for Ukraine and Israel has since become law. But no improvements have been made to any of the underlying border security proposals. Yet now Schumer is back, pushing for another vote, which he is sure to lose by an even bigger margin.

What is this legislative theater for? Why waste the Senate’s time?

It is being done simply because Schumer wants to stay majority leader and believes the vote can help him.

Unlike Senate Democrats, voters know the border is in crisis. They also know Biden is entirely to blame. That is why Senate Democrats up for reelection in red and purple states, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Jon Tester (D-MT), are desperate to vote on the Lankford bill again.

Lankford is less enthusiastic. “What they’re talking about next week,” Lankford said last week, “that’s not serious.”

That is true. But sadly the deal he struck with the White House is not a serious fix for the open border. Much has been made of “new authority” the legislation gives Biden to “shut down the border.” But it doesn’t require Biden to do anything. If a certain number of migrants are arrested for illegally crossing, an expulsion power kicks in, but the text of the legislation is clear that Biden can ignore it if he wants to. More importantly, the new expulsion power is only temporary and would disappear before the beginning of the next presidential term. So if there were a president who actually wanted to use the power, other than one who obviously doesn’t, it would no longer be there for him to deploy.

The legislation creates a permanent new system for processing illegal migrants called a “noncustodial removal proceeding.” All migrants processed through this new system must be released into the United States. Let’s repeat that for absolute clarity: the new procedure mandates the migrants release into our country. In other words, not only does the Lankford bill not “detain and deport” as promised, it actually obliges officials to engage in the “catch and release” farce that so enrages ordinary Americans.

Republicans who are challenging Democrats in red and purple states should be pleased Schumer is bringing Lankford’s bill up for a stand-alone vote. It will put Senate Democrats on record voting to codify Biden’s failed catch-and-release policies.

“The American people do not have the luxury of playing partisan blame games,” Schumer wrote in his letter to colleagues announcing the new vote. “They want bipartisan action to secure the border.” Unfortunately, the bill wouldn’t do that. It would make the crisis worse.

Schumer should call up the House-passed Laken Riley Act, which not only received more than 30 Democratic votes but also would have prevented the death of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.

Continue Reading at The Washington Examiner.

Washington Examiner

Political news and commentary about Congress, the president and the federal government from the Washington Examiner.

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